Stradbroke Consolation for 2013 Daybreak Lover Winner Academus

After having initially being prepared for the $1.36 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) this Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival, the Peter Snowden-trained Academus was able to hand connections a nice consolation prize with their Daybreak Lover win at Eagle Farm today.


The Daybreak Lover was a nice consolation prize for Academus on 2013 Stradbroke Handicap Day. Photo: Daniel Costello.

“I was pretty confident,” Snowden said speaking of Academus getting into the Stradbroke.

“Was keen to have a crack.

“But this was a nice fallback and good that we won too.”

A talented Lonhro three-year-old, Snowden and co. rated Academus a genuine chance for this year’s Stradbroke and were training them to win a good race like that.

First-up winner of the Group 3 Gold Coast Guineas (1200m) Academus showed they were ready to thrive in the sunshine state the way they did 12 months again when posting two Group 2 seconds behind Sizzling in the Champagne Classic and BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes before their Group 1 third to the same Kelso Wood-trained horse, who is in today’s Stradbroke Handicap field, in the TJ Smith on Straddie Day 12 months ago.

After the Gold Coast Guineas Academus was a second-up third to Platinum Kingdom in the Fred Best Classic and missed out on the ballot exemption for the Stradbroke when fourth less than two lengths off Sizzling in the Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1400m) last Saturday.

Showing they could handle a fair bit of racing today however Academus posted another black type win in the $125,000 Listed McGrath Daybreak Lover (1600m), a race named in honour of the dual Stradbroke Handicap winner from 1984 and 1986.

The rails draw certainly worked in favour of the favourite in the Daybreak this year with Academus jumping from the inside alley in the big 18-horse field.

He began only fairly however and stayed on the fence, ace jockey Kerrin McEvoy getting them into a nice position fourth off the early leader Platinum Kingdom.

Travelling well throughout McEvoy knew he had to get his mount off the fence if they were going to be competitive on the straight and so they lost their spot coming around the bend going to the outside with plenty of time to catch them.

“I just needed a bit of luck to get out and he travelled super once we did,” McEvoy said of the run.

Revving up for a big finish Academus and McEvoy got a lovely clear run down the home straight and were able to hold on in a thrilling three-way finish over the final 50 metres with Eximius second and Lucky Hussler, who moved up late after having been posted three wide, finishing off the trifecta.

It was an excellent effort from the winner in their final run for the winter with class prevailing, Academus showing they would likely relish stepping up even further in distance.

“Up to the mile really suited,” McEvoy said post-race.

“Nice to get another win with this horse up here.

“Great natured horse, he just wants to do it for you.”

Snowden agreed that they could eventually make a very nice 2000m horse but wasn’t sure whether that would be this spring or looking further ahead to next year’s Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.

“He’s a winner,” Snowden declared.

“Might have been a short win but still a good run.

“He’s got the pattern of a 2000 metre horse…he seems very dour.

“Reminds me of Kidnapped who got out to the mile and a half to win the (2010 SA) Derby (over 2500m).

“He’s the best horse ever to take away…he likes change and settles straight in.

“He is getting a bit grinding.

“We’ll have to look for something a mile or up to 2000m (in the spring).

“Or maybe (wait until) the autumn back in Sydney before he’ll get that trip.”

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2013 Daybreak Lover Results & Finishing Order

Eagle Farm Race 3 – 06/08/2013

Place # Horse Trainer Jockey Margin Br. Wgt. SP
1 1 ACADEMUS Peter Snowden Kerrin McEvoy 1 57kg $2.40F
2 5 EXIMIUS Mick Price Craig Newitt 0.4L 4 57kg $26
3 6 LUCKY HUSSLER David Kelly Jim Cassidy 1.2L 10 57kg $7
4 4 PLATINUM KINGDOM Lisa Latta Jonathan Riddell 3.7L 17 57kg $10
5 14 LILLIBURLERO David Payne Michael Rodd 3.8L 12 55kg $11
6 3 LIMES Peter Snowden Hugh Bowman 5.1L 7 57kg $7.50
7 16 IMPETUOUS Clarry Conners Brenton Avdulla 5.3L 2 55kg $19
8 20e SWEET AS BRO (NZ) Leon Corstens Michael Cahill 6.1L 15 57kg $51
9 12 SAINT OR SINNER (NZ) Michael Moroney Eddie Wilkinson 7.1L 6 57kg $31
10 19e LADY ECHELON Natalie Mccall Damian Browne 7.6L 14 55kg $31
11 8 HEZA JETSETTER Robert Heathcote Ryan Wiggins 8.6L 18 57kg $26
12 18 STOLEN KISSES Maryann Thexton Timothy Bell 10.4L 3 55kg $51
13 11 CHEAPSKATER Craig Howell Luke Nolen 10.5L 9 57kg $71
14 7 PLATINUM STATE Bryan Guy Jim Byrne 10.8L 8 57kg $51
15 9 HOLY TOLEDO Ron Macrae Grant Cooksley 11.1L 16 57kg $101
16 15 OASIS ROSE Graeme & Debbie Rogerson Michael Walker 14.1L 13 55kg $17
17 17 SUNSET AFFAIR Gillian Heinrich Dwayne Dunn 17.6L 11 55kg $101
18 13 MEDUSA’S MISS Kevin Moses Christian Reith 22.4L 5 55kg $31
21e LOVES THE SHOW John Wheeler 0
22e GOLD FLOW Leon Morton 0
10 STEEP John P Thompson Michael Cahill 0
2 JIMANDO Tony McEvoy Nicholas Hall 0